The merger of our small Chamber of Commerce with a larger Chamber was the right move for our organization but for several members it was a source of fear and loathing. We were not able to recover from a fiscally tenuous position, plain and simple. The decision was easy, the execution was painful and in the process we were all reminded how managing a business is not about making everybody happy. But critical decisions are made all the time. Here are a few tips to make them a little less painful.
Think Large- even when the decision seems small!
When faced with tough decisions it’s critical that we acquire a broad perspective of the issue. Decisions that seem small in scope often have far-reaching impact. Taking the time to scope out the ramifications of our decisions leads to more effective solutions. This should not be viewed as a means to please everyone but rather a well-balanced way to arrive at the most desirable outcome.
Respect- EARN it!
In business, we make tough decisions all the time. Earning the respect of our employees and colleagues is an on-going task. If we come from a place of integrity, if we genuinely listen and acknowledge, if we embrace the ‘who’ and ‘what’ of those around us, we will earn their respect. Though we cannot make everyone happy all the time, we can foster their ability to appreciate change if we first earn their respect.
Don’t Shy Away from Tough Decisions- Embrace them!
Tough decisions aren’t going away so why not embrace them! When we make tough decisions we plow through a challenge or obstacle that otherwise would have held us back. At the root of every tough decision is an opportunity.
Above All- Remember your mission!
Tough decisions need to be made but keep your mission at the forefront. Decisions, no matter how small, should be aligned with your mission. This sort of continuity breeds sustainability and confidence. In the case of our Chamber we explored a number of options. We simply could not ignore the fundamental reason for our existence; nor could we ignore that staying as we were, we could not meet those expectations.
Faced with our inability to fulfill our mission, we grew confident that our decisions, popular or not were right for our organization. Years later, I still do not question that we made the right choice.